OLD Media Moves

MSNBC.com covers the economy through one town

August 10, 2009

Brian Stelter of the New York Times writes Monday about how MSNBC.com has spent the last five months reporting from Elkhart, Ind., to track how the town is handling the economic recession.

Stelter writes, “For the Elkhart Project, which is entering its fifth month, MSNBC.com assigns one staff member to Elkhart, Ind., at almost all times to ensure a regular output of blog posts, slide shows, videos and Twitter messages. In Elkhart, readers and viewers see the effects of job losses, foreclosures and stimulus money projects — what MSNBC.com calls ‘stories of struggle and recovery in America.’

“The project has won over some residents who were initially upset about the media’s portrayal of the manufacturing city of 53,000, which has an unemployment rate twice the national average and is sometimes treated as a national symbol of distressed middle America. The project has also been recognized by other journalists for its storytelling; last week it received the National Press Club’s online journalism award.

“The project is not exactly a model of hyperlocal journalism (a term for Web-powered neighborhood news) because it leaves most of the day-to-day reporting to the local newspaper, The Elkhart Truth, which it counts as a partner.”

Read more here.

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